Plague Inc.: Have you ever wanted to wipe out the entire planet in about a half hour of gameplay? Then Plague Inc. is for you! The game puts you in control of a deadly disease, which you must carefully manipulate to infect the entire world. You don’t have direct control of your disease, but you do select where the plague starts and use your carefully earned points to modify infectivity, lethality and symptoms. You have to take note of how the rest of the world is reacting to your disease and mutate accordingly, trying to find a way to overcome any safety measures being put against you. It’s pretty grim subject matter, but it’s incredibly addicting and requires some surprisingly intense and thoughtful strategy. Destroying the world on your iPhone has never been this much fun.
Tiny Wings: There’s a reason Tiny Wings has become one of the most successful games in the app store. Like its feathered brethren Angry Birds, Tiny Wings is the kind of game that you can pick up and play anytime, anywhere. In fact, Tiny Wings is the perfect game for those quick bathroom breaks, which is the highest compliment you can give a mobile game if you ask me. It takes you about ten seconds to learn how to play Tiny Wings, but it never stops being challenging, constantly asking you to change up your strategies. The game puts you in control of a flightless bird who takes advantage of his hilly terrain to soar through the sky. This is accomplished by timing your tapping the screen so that your bird can hit slopes to gain speed and airtime. It’s one of the simplest games you can buy on the app store, but it’s also one of the best.
Ticket to Ride: Already a bestselling board game, Ticket the Ride plays beautifully on the iPhone and, along with Fantasy Flight’s Elder Sign, is proof that tabletop gaming and mobile gaming have a definite future together. It’s a straightforward recreation of the game as it’s played on your kitchen table, letting up to five players (the iPhone version offers AI opponents, local multiplayer and turn-based multiplayer) compete to build their own railroad empires. It’s a combination of light strategy, puzzle-solving, luck and just plain screwing over your buddies. It’s a total blast and it’s the kind of app that will convince many players to go out and actually buy the board game version. Well done, Days of Wonder. Well done indeed.